Author: Anshool Deshmukh

Arms Transfers: U.S. and Russia’s Biggest Trading Partners


This post is by Anshool Deshmukh from Visual Capitalist


This graphic highlights trade partners for U.S. and Russia arms transfers

Arms Transfers: U.S. and Russia’s Biggest Trading Partners

The increase in conflicts worldwide, including in Ukraine and the Middle East, has shifted global focus back onto arms transfers between countries.

For decades, countries proficient in arms manufacturing have supplied weapons to other countries in demand of them. At the helm of these trades are the U.S. and Russia, which have accounted for 57% of all international arms trades in the last 10 years.

So who are the largest importers of arms from these two countries, and what is the military value of these trades?

With the help of data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) arms transfer database, the above infographic by Ruben Berge Mathisen visualizes the top 50 biggest arms recipients by value for both the U.S. and Russia in the last decade.

The Military Valuation of Arms Transfers

The military valuation of arms is measured in terms of trend-indicator values (TIV). This valuation reflects the military capability of a particular item rather than its financial value.

Every weapon that falls under the conventional definition of major arms is allotted a TIV. The following are the most common weapons and components to be assigned a TIV.

  • Aircraft and armored vehicles
  • Artillery (>100mm in caliber)
  • Sensors and guided missiles, large air defense guns, torpedoes, and bombs
  • 100mm caliber artillery-armed ships (>100-tonne displacement)
  • Reconnaissance satellites and air refueling systems

Instead of focusing on budget, examining TIV makes it easier to measure trends in the flow of arms between particular (Read more...)

Nature Timespiral: The Evolution of Earth from the Big Bang


This post is by Anshool Deshmukh from Visual Capitalist


Nature Timespiral The Evolution of Earth

Click to view a larger version of the graphic. For a full-size option or to inquire about posters, please visit Pablo Carlos Budassi’s website.

Nature Timespiral: The Evolution of Earth from the Big Bang

Since the dawn of humanity, we have looked questioningly to the heavens with great interest and awe. We’ve called on the stars to guide us, and have made some of humanity’s most interesting discoveries based on those observations. This also led us to question our existence and how we came to be in this moment in time.

That journey began some 14 billion years ago, when the Big Bang led to the universe emerging from a hot, dense sea of matter and energy. As the cosmos expanded and cooled, they spawned galaxies, stars, planets, and eventually, life.

In the above visualization, Pablo Carlos Buddassi illustrates this journey of epic proportions in the intricately designed Nature Timespiral, depicting the various eras that the Earth has gone through since the inception of the universe itself.

Evolutionary Timeline of the World

Not much is known about what came before the Big Bang, but we do know that it launched a sequence of events that gave rise to the universal laws of physics and the chemical elements that make up matter. How the Earth came about, and life subsequently followed, is a wondrous story of time and change.

Let’s look at what transpired after the Big Bang to trace our journey through the cosmos.

The Big Bang (Read more...)

How Much Radiation is Emitted by Popular Smartphones?


This post is by Anshool Deshmukh from Visual Capitalist


Infographic showing the Radiation emissions of popular smartphones

Radiation Emissions of Popular Smartphones

Smartphones have become an integral part of our everyday lives. From work and school to daily tasks, these handheld devices have brought everything into the palm of our hands.

Most people spend 5-6 hours on their phones each day. And, given that our phones emit a tiny amount of radiation, we’re exposing ourselves to radiation for hours each day.

But different phones emit different amounts of radiation.

With the help of data collected by the German Federal Office of Radiation Protection, we visualize the radiation emissions of some popular smartphones in the market today.

Radiation and SAR Values of Smartphones

Smartphones and other mobile devices emit tiny amounts of radiofrequency (RF) radiation. Humans can absorb this radiation when the smartphone is being used or is lying dormant anywhere near their bodies.

The parameter used to measure phone radiation emissions is the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). It is the unit of measurement that represents the quantity of electromagnetic energy absorbed by the body when using a mobile device.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set radiation standards for cell phones at 1.6 watts per kilogram, measured over the 1 gram of tissue that is absorbing the most signal.

SAR values are calculated at the ear (speaking on the phone) and at the body (kept in your pocket). For the purposes of this article, we’ve used the former calculations.

Smartphones With the Highest Levels of Radiation Emissions

The Motorola Edge has the (Read more...)

A Visual Guide to Europe’s Member States


This post is by Anshool Deshmukh from Visual Capitalist


Map of Europe's member states

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Yes. Visualizations are free to share and post in their original form across the web—even for publishers. Please link back to this page and attribute Visual Capitalist.
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Licenses are required for some commercial uses, translations, or layout modifications. You can even whitelabel our visualizations. Explore your options.
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Who are Europe’s Member States?

With Ukraine’s recent bid to join the European Union (EU), the current status of Europe’s member states is back in the fray.

The European member states are countries mainly in Europe, and three outside, that are part of one or more of the four major treaty groups, namely the European Union (EU), NATO, Schengen, and eurozone.

Each of these institutions governs a different aspect of the region’s infrastructure.

Let’s take a look at each of them.

European Union

The European Union (EU) is a unique economic and political union between 27 European countries.

First created as the European Economic Community in the aftermath of WW2, the organization’s main focus was to foster economic cooperation. The idea was simple: countries that trade with one another and become economically interdependent are more likely to avoid conflict.

Beginning with six countries in 1958, the European Economic Community has since added 21 more countries (the UK left the EU in 2020), with a primary focus on single or internal markets.

Here are the (Read more...)

Mapped: The World’s Major Religions


This post is by Anshool Deshmukh from Visual Capitalist


View the full-size infographic map

Map of the religious composition around the world

View the high-resolution version

Religious Composition of Countries

The world has become increasingly more secular in the last few decades. However, religion remains an integral part of many people’s lives, and 84% of the world’s population identifies with a religious group.

The religious profile of the world is rapidly changing, driven primarily by differences in fertility rates and the size of youth populations among the world’s major religions, as well as by people switching faiths.

With the help of data from Pew Research Center, we break down the religious composition of the major religions in countries worldwide.

Religious Makeup of the World by Major Religions

Determining the exact number of religions across the world is a daunting task. Many religions can be difficult to categorize or to tell apart for those not intimately familiar with their doctrine.

Pew Research Center organizes the world’s religions into seven major categories, which includes five major religions (Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism), one category that broadly includes all Folk/Traditional religions, and an unaffiliated category.

Globally, Christianity has the largest following of these categories. Around 31% of the world’s population are Christians, closely followed by Muslims at 25%. Jews have the smallest population of major religions, with only 0.2% of the world identifying as Jewish.

Let’s take a look at the religious composition of the world when accounting for regions:

RegionChristiansMuslimsUnaffiliatedHindusJewsBuddhistsFolk
North America74.6%1.3%19.2%0.8%1.6%1.2% (Read more...)

Comparing Objects in Our Solar System by Rotation, Size, and More


This post is by Anshool Deshmukh from Visual Capitalist


Comparison of Selected Objects in our Solar System

Our solar system is home to various celestial objects, including planets, moons, asteroids, and even dwarf planets.

All of these objects differ in many ways, yet work in perfect unison. A comparative study of the various features of these celestial bodies gives us some fascinating results.

The above animation from planetary scientist Dr. James O’Donoghue helps put in perspective the different objects in the solar system in terms of size, rotational speed, and the axial tilt at which they rotate.

Selected Solar System Objects to Scale

With such a diverse solar system of planets and other celestial objects, there is no shortage of questions to think about. Like what is the exact diameter of Jupiter, or how fast does Pluto rotate?

To answer them, here is a comparison of some select celestial bodies in our solar system, going from the biggest to smallest objects:

Celestial BodyDiameter (km)Rotational Period (Hours)Axial Tilt
Sun1.4M6487.2°
Jupiter140,9829.93.1°
Saturn120,53610.726.7°
Uranus51,118-17.297.8°
Neptune49,52816.128.3°
Earth12,75623.923.5°
Venus12,104-5832177.4°
Mars6,79224.625.2°
Mercury4,8791407.60.03°
Moon3,475655.76.7°
Pluto2,376-153.3122.5°
Ceres9469

Planets like Venus or Pluto rotate in the opposite direction to Earth, or in retrograde, and thus are denoted with a negative symbol before their values.

Another interesting observation is that the Sun rotates on its axis only once in (Read more...)

Visualizing the Biggest Gaming Company Acquisitions of All-Time


This post is by Anshool Deshmukh from Visual Capitalist


Visualizing the biggest gaming company acquisitions

Can I share this graphic?
Yes. Visualizations are free to share and post in their original form across the web—even for publishers. Please link back to this page and attribute Visual Capitalist.
When do I need a license?
Licenses are required for some commercial uses, translations, or layout modifications. You can even whitelabel our visualizations. Explore your options.
Interested in this piece?
Click here to license this visualization.

The Briefing

  • Microsoft will acquire gaming giant Activision Blizzard for nearly $69 billion.
  • 10 of the 15 biggest gaming company acquisitions have happened in the last three years.

The Most Expensive Gaming Company Acquisitions

Not even a week after Take-Two Interactive acquired mobile game developer Zynga for $12.7 billion, Microsoft claimed the title for the most expensive gaming acquisition in history.

The tech giant will acquire the famed gaming company Activision Blizzard, for $69 billion. This makes them one of the biggest video game development market players (a fact that has not escaped the notice of the FTC).

Such multi-billion gaming company acquisitions are quickly becoming a norm. Some of the largest takeovers have occurred in the past three to five years.

A Brief History of the Major Gaming Company Acquisitions

Until January 2022, Tencent’s $8.6 billion purchase of gaming publisher Supercell was the biggest video game industry acquisition.

2022 completely changed that with two of the biggest acquisitions happening within the first couple of weeks.

Here are the top 15 most (Read more...)

Mapped: Top Trending Searches of 2021 in Every U.S. State


This post is by Anshool Deshmukh from Visual Capitalist


The Trending Searches in 2021

Google’s data editor Simon Rogers once said, “You’re never as honest as you are with your search engine. You get a sense of what people genuinely care about and genuinely want to know.”

This look at trending searches for every U.S. state is a window into the topics people were truly curious about in 2021. From political tensions to meme stocks, and from Elon Musk to a devastating tornado, we saw a wide range of trending searches throughout the year.

In the above animated video, Reddit user u/V1Analytics pulls together the top trending search terms from Google’s 2021 Year in Search summary (for the period before mid-November 2021) and Google’s Daily Search Trends page (from mid-November to December 20th) to illustrate the daily trends for each state.

It’s fascinating to see what Americans were looking up this year.

Trending Searches Offer a Glimpse of American Psyche

In the year when COVID-19 vaccines became widely available, many Americans turned to the world’s most popular search engine to figure out how to come back to a life of normalcy.

In 2021, the search entries spoke to people’s interest in alternative assets like cryptocurrencies and NFTs, as well as persistent economic insecurity, evidenced by questions about when they would get their stimulus checks.

Entertainers and billionaires trended throughout the year, and so did topics of significant cultural impact at those moments in time.

Here is a look at the trending searches of 2021 and when (Read more...)

Mapped: Economic Freedom Around the World


This post is by Anshool Deshmukh from Visual Capitalist


Map of Global Economic Freedom

Can I share this graphic?
Yes. Visualizations are free to share and post in their original form across the web—even for publishers. Please link back to this page and attribute Visual Capitalist.
When do I need a license?
Licenses are required for some commercial uses, translations, or layout modifications. You can even whitelabel our visualizations. Explore your options.
Interested in this piece?
Click here to license this visualization.

Mapped: Economic Freedom Around the World

How would you define a country’s economic freedom?

The cornerstones of economic freedom by most measures are personal choice, voluntary exchange, independence to compete in markets, and security of the person and privately-owned property. Simply put, it is about the quality of political and economic institutions in countries.

Based on the Index of Economic Freedom by the Heritage Organization, we mapped the economic freedom of 178 countries worldwide.

Measures of Economic Freedom

The index uses five broad areas to score economic freedom for each country:

  1. Size of Government: Greater government spending, taxation, and bigger government agencies tend to reduce individual choice and economic freedom.
  2. Legal System and Property Rights: The ability to accumulate private property and wealth is a central motivating force for workers and investors in a market economy, and well-functioning legal frameworks protect the rights of all citizens.
  3. Sound Money: Does earned money maintain its value, or is it lost to inflation? When inflation is high and volatile, individuals can’t plan for the future and use economic freedom (Read more...)

The Most Commonly Spoken Language in Every U.S. State (Besides English and Spanish)


This post is by Anshool Deshmukh from Visual Capitalist


Most commonly spoken languages in us states not English or Spanish

The Most Common Spoken Household Languages

We typically operate under the assumption that most Americans speak either English or Spanish. Though this is true in the broadest sense, the U.S. is a culturally diverse country, home to a plethora of languages.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) annually asks more than 1 million Americans questions about their lives, families, and backgrounds. One question asks respondents what language they mainly speak in their homes.

Migration Policy has used this data (while excluding English and Spanish) to leave us with the next-most-frequently spoken languages at home in each state.

Non-English Languages in the U.S.

In 2019, approximately 78% (241 million) of all 308.8 million people ages five and older reported speaking only English at home regardless of their nativity. The remaining 22% (67.8 million) reported speaking a language other than English at home.

Based on this data, Mandarin and Cantonese were the most common non-English, non-Spanish languages spoken in the U.S., with more than 3.4 million speakers across the country.

Here is a list of the most common languages spoken at home in the U.S., outside of English:

LanguagePopulation EstimateShare of Foreign Language Speakers
Spanish41,757,00061.6%
Cantonese and Mandarin3,495,0005.2%
Tagalog and Filipino1,764,0002.6%
Vietnamese1,571,0002.3%
Arabic1,260,0001.9%
French and Cajun1,172,0001.7%
Korean1,075,0001.6%
Russian941,0001.4%
Haitian925,0001.4%
German895,0001.3%
Hindi893,0001.3%
Portugese846,0001.2%
Afro-Asiatic Languages590,0000.9%
West African Languages589,0000.9%
Indo-European (Read more...)